Starwatch: the moon and Saturn will look great together

Look for a pretty pairing of the moon and the planet Saturn this week. Saturn is currently due south in the early evening and cruising through the constellation of Capricornus. It will appear to be the brightest star in that particular region of sky, and will have a slightly yellowish tinge. The moon will be unmistakable with almost 40% of its visible surface illuminated.

New moon took place on 23 November, and the moon is currently waxing. It will reach first quarter, or half-moon, on 30 November. Its meeting with Saturn takes place on 29 November.

The chart shows the view looking south from London at 17.00 GMT that evening. Once you’ve found the moon and Saturn, look over to Jupiter, which is further east. It will be brighter and whiter than Saturn. If you are in a dark site, trace out the faint stars of Capricornus itself. If this proves too challenging because the moon is too bright, return another night this week and try again when our natural satellite will have moved on. The conjunction is also easily visible from the southern hemisphere. From Sydney, Australia, the pairing takes place in the western sky and is easily visible throughout the evening.